We are still very new at homeschooling but one thing that has been working for us, without a doubt, is Five In A Row. Here are five things we’ve been doing with each Five in a Row Book at some point during the week. Rather than detail them in each of my F.I.A.R. blog posts, I thought it would be easier to have them all in one place. Do you have something that you do with each book? Please share in the comments section.
- Make a flag of the country you are studying. Simply use a 3×5 card and add simple cut outs of colored construction paper for flags like Italy and France. For more complicated flags like Sri Lanka and the United States, find a flag on line, print it out in black and white, make a copy in reduced size if you have a copier and let the kids color it in. Or draw one free hand that they can color and then paste to the 3×5 card. Glue the flag to a popsicle stick and give your child a small piece of clay to mold into a stand. Designate an area to display your flags. I thought my kids would get tired of this, but so far they’ve made at least a dozen flags each and they love it. They spot them everywhere when we are out and about.
- Find the country you are studying using Google Earth. Of course you will already have found it on a globe or map and placed your F.I.A.R. disc on your map. After you’ve done that, log on to Google Earth and type in the city or country. The kids love seeing the globe spin to the location they’ve typed in, then clicking on pictures that people have posted around that city or country. We’ve zoomed in on gondolas in Venice Italy, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, various city sites in Tokyo. This often then leads to exploring other aspects of geography, history, and culture via the Internet, which brings me to….
- YouTube. I sometimes think I overuse YouTube as a curriculum supplement but then I think, perhaps I could actually homeschool my kids just using YouTube and a couple of math workbooks from Wal-Mart. There’s that much stuff on there. Via YouTube, we listen to each country’s national anthem as well as music from each country (Reggae from Jamaica, Italian opera, etc.). You can also type in different cultural customs, like “Japanese Tea Ceremony” or “Venice Gondola Ride”. This even works for the books that are set in a fictitious place. For example, we found video clips of real steam shovels and other steam operated machines when we rowed Mike Mulligan.
- Raid Your Local Library. Using your library’s catalog database, type in the subject or country of your book. If there is an option that reads something like “juvenile literature”, filter your search by that. That grab a bag full of fiction and non-fiction titles. Put them in a big basket where your kids have access and ask them to pick out two books per day that you’ll read or peruse together. Don’t worry if they are at their reading/age level. Sometimes little board books or books targeted to tweens and teens have been what caught our interest.
- Listen to the language of the country you are studying if it is different than your native language. Check out language cd’s or listen to clips on YouTube, tune the t.v. to a channel that is broadcast in that language, or find an internet radio station. Let your kids listen to it while they play, do crafts, do clean-up. See what they pick up. My four year old loved French when we rowed Madeline and continues to use “bonjour” and “merci” on a regular basis. My six year old immediately noticed how different Japanese sounded from French and Italian.
What are your Five In A Row traditions?